Tuition Waiver Law Encourages Youth to Pursue College

Tuition Waiver Law Encourages Youth to Pursue College

With the leadership of NMCAN and young people, the tuition waiver law (NMSA 21-1-4.7) took effect in New Mexico in 2014 and was expanded in 2019. This legislation gives foster youth access to FREE college tuition at publicly funded post-secondary educational institutions in New Mexico.

Young people can take advantage of the tuition waiver if they were in foster care at any time on or after their 14th birthday.

Important things to know:

  • You must be enrolled in a school of higher education** before your 25th birthday to be eligible for the waiver. A school of higher education includes any publically-funded and accredited state college or university, community college, or technical/vocational institute in New Mexico.
  • You must provide a ‘tuition waiver letter’ to the school you are planning to attend.
  • To request your tuition waiver letter, contact your CYFD Youth Transition Specialist (YTS). S/he will provide you with a letter that verifies that you were in foster care and meet the eligibility criteria. If you don’t know who your YTS is, contact the CYFD Youth Services Bureau Chief at 505-690-0722 for assistance.

Learn more about the Tuition Waiver and additional legislation to support young people here.

*Foster care means you were in the legal custody of the State of New Mexico’s Children, Youth, & Families Department (CYFD); a New Mexico Indian Nation, Tribe, or Pueblo; or the US Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Human Services.